Whenever I want to read any story credited to our Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, I will make sure that a dictionary is around, since the man knows how to speak very high Grammar.
So, it was, when the other day I read a story credited to Professor Soyinka that President Muhammadu Buhari is “under a trance”, I wasted no time in reaching for my dictionary.
According to the story, Soyinka while lamenting the activities of killer herdsmen across the country, and when asked by newsmen what he would tell President Buhari if he met him, replied: “I think, Mr President that you are under a trance. The sooner he gets out of it the better. So many unforced errors.”
“Trance”, according to what I found from the Oxford Learners Advanced Dictionary is a “state in which somebody seems to be asleep but is aware of what is said to them, for example, if they are hypnotized”. Another definition is a “state in which you are talking so much about something, that you do not notice what is happening around you”.
I do not know whether our President can fit into any of these two definitions, but all I know is that so many things are happening around Mr. President which he does not seem to know, or if he knows, he has deliberately decided to turn a blind eye.
For instance, while President Buhari is constantly talking about fighting corruption and was even conferred with an award as anti-corruption crusader at the recent African Union meeting at Addis Shana, Ethiopia, there seems to be a lot of corruption issues going on under his very nose and he does not care to do anything about them.
Thus, before Soyinka threw his bombshell of President Buhari about being under a trance, he must have critically observed the several missteps, misdeeds and inactions of President Muhammadu Buhari since assumption of office nearly three years ago.
For instance, is it not under President Buhari that Abba Kyari, his Chief of Staff, was alleged to have helped himself with N500 million bribe to reduce the fine imposed on MTN by the National Communications Commission, and he closed his ears to the allegation?
Is it not under President Buhari, that Babachir Lawal, Buhari’s former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), stole N223 million belonging to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)? Buhari feigned ignorance about the theft until the Senate exposed the deal. He said he was going to investigate the allegation but did nothing until there was public outcry. Then he woke up from the trance, and told the man to go home and enjoy the money, no gorging out of the loot, and no charging to court.
Under the incorruptible President Muhammadu Buhari, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Makatari Baru awarded twenty five billion dollars contract without reference the Board of the corporation. The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, who also is the Chairman of the Board of NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, raised an alarm, but President Buhari who is the Senior Minister of the Ministry, refused to do anything.
Under President Muhammadu Buhari forty-four billion dollars said to belong to the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA) was found in a house in Ikoyi, Lagos. How the money got there and what happened thereafter, Nigerians were not told.
Under President Muhammadu Buhari, Abdulasheed Maina, the fugitive former pensions chairman who was sacked by the previous administration for corruption, was mysterious smuggled into the country and secretly reinstated in office. Buhari said he was going to investigate the scandalous action, but till today nothing has been heard about it.
It is still under President Muhammadu Buhari that snake made all its way to the office of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation board (JAMB) and swallowed a whopping N36 million.
Just a few days ago, the Presidency ordered the reinstatement of the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Health insurance Scheme, Professor Usman Yusuf, who was suspended last year for an alleged N919 million fraud by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, while investigations are still on.
The very high hopes and expectations many people had reposed in General Muhammadu Buhari, based on their belief in his strong moral discipline which made millions of Nigerians to cast their votes for him when he was canvassing votes in 2015, seems to have now evaporated due to his several slips, misdeeds and inactions.
That was the message the Catholic Bishops in no unmistakable terms dropped to the President when they visited him some few days back, and the statement which Professor Soyinka in his high sounding words was equally making.